We had done it. We had driven our 18 year old Land Rover Discovery II 18,165 miles across 20 countries from England to Singapore. A lifetime of planning, two years of saving money, ten months of driving, and here we finally were.
Our next stop in Malaysia was the Cameron Highlands. Driving up into the Highlands, the temperature and humidity dropped - a large factor as to why this is such a popular destination for Malaysians and foreign tourists alike.
The next morning, we drove to Butterworth train station to collect my (Charlie's) parents, Moirag and Mike. They had flown into Kuala Lumpar the previous day to spend the next 11 days with us in Malaysia and Singapore.
It is in times of crisis that one learns where each other's priorities lie: would you sacrifice yourself to save a loved one? Much to Chris' dismay, we both learned that when it came to my priorities, my own safety, and the safety of my food ranked significantly higher than the safety of Chris.
We left Plodd Stop on the 26th December, and for the next few days followed the coast south, beach hopping from one wild camping spot to another. This was the style of overlanding we had been dreaming of since we left the UK all those months ago. We pitched up a few hundred metres from luxury beach-side hotel resorts, spending our afternoons reading, swimming, sunbathing and walking.
Our weekend was spent at the Erawan National Park at the 15th annual Land Rover Lovers weekend. Natalie thought she had died and gone to heaven (I think Chris did too). For three days we were completely surrounded by Land Rovers and their owners. In a very short time we met so many lovely people. We were made to feel extremely welcome. Yet another brilliant experience to add to our ever growing list of highlights from our trip.
Needless to say, our first few days in Thailand were brilliant. We felt like we were on holiday again! In only a few short days, Thailand had already exceeded our expectations, and we were enjoying every minute of it.
Just like in China, it is not possible to drive a foreign vehicle in Myanmar without a tour guide. The following blog is aimed at those considering driving through Myanmar and has all the information we think is needed prior to doing this.
Waking up after yet another "worst day of the trip so far" we knew what we needed to do. We had thought that having over a month off of the roads might have re-energised us enough to want to spend the next couple of months travelling around Nepal and North-East India, but after just three days back on the road and only one and a half days in Nepal, we'd had enough. We were no longer enjoying our adventure, and we needed to leave the Indian Subcontinent as quickly as possible.